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THREAD! Now that everyone is looking, wanna to learn some history about RVA's racism? @theValentineRVA has a series called #ControversyHistory that explores our difficult history. TOMORROW the topic will be #healthcare disparities. This include's medical college graverobbing.
In December, on our weekly show #MUNICIPALMANIA, we spoke with Dr. Shawn Utsey about his research documented in Until the Well Runs Dry regarding the history at the Medical College of VA of using black bodies in the name of medical advancement.

Part of Utsey's research was around a man named Chris Baker who was the medical college's anatomical man. There is a well documented history of Baker stealing bodies for the medical college. In 1882 Baker & med students were caught grave robbing together & Governor pardoned them.
There was history of outcry from the black community due to bodysnatching concerns. Mainstream response was that they were paranoid. In 1896, the Richmond Planet (black newspaper at the time) published an article about the black community demanding someone's body be returned.
"That the secretary of the Anatomical Board, Dr. William P. Matthews fully intended that the weeping widow of Solomon Marble should not have the body of her own husband after he had complied with the laws demands..." #ControversyHistory 🧜‍♀️
So.... then they got the law involved.

"But the body was shipped to Richmond by express to the University College of Medicine and that institution had control of it." #ControversyHistory 🧜‍♀️
"...which doors might well be inscribed so far as corpses are concerned: who enters here leaves hope behind."

"When it became apparent that his evident intention was to have the body for dissecting purposes, regardless of the feelings of the widow and children..."
"A search warrant was secured and the body removed, not to the Police Station or the City Morgue where it should have gone, but to the Medical College of Virginia where it should not have gone until question of ownership had been decided by the Police Justice."
"He knew that crowd would not leave without the body."

"The body was protruding from the barrel, eyes filled with salt, mouth open, tongue slightly protruding, arms extended, while the salt mixed with blood which had been wasted lay on the floor." #ControversyHistory 🧜‍♀️
"The next morning, the barrel had to be broken in pieced in order to remove the remains." #ControversyHistory 🧜‍♀️
Even after there was a legal procurement process for colleges to acquire bodies, it took public outcry and people getting arrested to make those in power comply with the law. #ControversyHistory 🧜‍♀️
The impact the history of grave robbing in medical colleges across the country has had a devastating impact on quality of healthcare for people of color. The blatant racism in the medical industry that occurred in our city and other places across the country is disturbing.
Come out tomorrow to @theValentineRVA for a #ControversyHistory that you don't wan't to miss! It explores race through the lens of Richmond's healthcare disparities from the 1918 flu pandemic & dehumanizing medical practices to HIV/AIDS.
Read more in advance of the event here in @RichmondMag! And if you can't make it, as always we will be live tweeting as much content as possible! #ControversyHistory 🧜‍♀️…
Oh, last but not least, here is a link to the story we are clipping from that appeared in the Richmond Planet. See y'all tomorrow! #ControversyHistory 🧜‍♀️…
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